I did. And somehow I missed those words "a novel" on the cover.This was 1992. I read it believing it was a true story. When I finished, I rushed to the library and spent a long time in the little closet/room that held all their National Geographic magazines, looking for photographs taken by one of the main characters. Very gently, my librarian friend told me the book was fiction.
And now it has happened again! This time, I knew Calico Joe
was fiction, but I thought it was historical fiction about this real ballplayer, Joe Castle from Calico, Arkansas, nicknamed Calico Joe. I got about halfway through when I decided to look up Joe Castle. You guessed it. There never was a Calico Joe. I may be forgiven this time because there are a lot of real people in the book, real ballplayers I remember well.
I loved this book. I grew up listening to the Red Sox on the radio. Whenever they were playing the radio was on in the house or in the car. In those days most of the games were during the day. It was one of the very few things my father and I shared. My mother listened too, but she wasn't as passionate about the game or the team. And I'll tell you, you had to really love the Red Sox in those days. They were in either 8th or 9th place most of my childhood. Now it is easy to be a fan because they win so much!
There is a lot of baseball in this book - stats, play-by-plays, personalities. I was riveted. However, even if you don't follow baseball there is so much human interest that I think you would be drawn into the story. The narrator is Paul Tracey looking back at 1973, 30 years ago, when he was 11. His father was a pitcher for the New York Mets. He was not a great pitcher, and he was by no means a good man.
I don't want to tell any more because there really is a plot that is best discovered on your own. The book was published in 2012. I've recently read three of my blogging friends saying that Grisham's newer stuff isn't as good as the early books. I don't know where 2012, comes in his work, but I thought this was an excellent book.
I've been looking back to see what books I've read by John Grisham. In the early days, I gave grades to my books.
Skipping Christmas A- I read it twice, in 2002 and 2011. I wrote about it on the blog, here.
The Pelican Brief A
The Testament A-
The Firm A
Rogue Lawyer which I wrote just a bit about here.
I look forward to reading a lot more.